What is your FRC team structure

Hi guys
We are considering to refresh our FRC team organization structure.
I am curious to know how your team is managed, what sub teams to you have, what are the main roles in your team (students wise of course)

Will appreciate if you would share and maybe explain the roles responsibility


Our team is mostly divided into technical sub teams, but we have a number of students doing business/admin work too. Each of these sub teams is led by a student captain. In terms of head student officers, we also have one “lead” president and two vice presidents.

Technical sub teams:

Responsible for manufacturing parts and building the robot.

Responsible for all the wiring and pneumatics of the robot

Responsible all the programming and software for the robot

Responsible for planning our robot every year and CADing it

Business structure:

On the business side of our team we have five student officers:

Historian (me):

Responsible for our documentation, photography/videography efforts, and admin projects like website mantainace. I’m also responsible for knowing the most about the team and FRC in general

Outreach coordinator:

Responsible for organizing and executing our outreach events in the local community

Awards coordinator:

Responsible for leading the awards we manufacture for third party groups affiliated with us

Spirit coordinator:

Responsible for designing our team spirit wear every year and coordinating our branding/imagery.

Drive team coordinator:

Responsible for picking, training, and leading our drive team

While these officer roles do not come with their own subteams, they are just as important to the success of the team as the technical officer roles.


We’ve done a lot of different structures over the last 9 years. The one we are settling for at the moment is a Team President acts as a project manager making sure everyone and everything is running smoothly, a jack of all trades. We have a Engineering Captain who oversees everything that deals with robot construction; CAD, Programming, Electrical, Fabrication. We also have an Outreach Captain who oversees all of our outreach events, non-profit summer camps, social media, finances. The team president also is our team lead at competition and oversees the drive team and alliance selection mostly focusing on scouting and pit schedules to make sure nobody gets worn out. Underneath captains we have tried subteam leads and on a large-ish (50 student) team it becomes very dictatorial with many “I’m the XXX lead, so it needs to be done this way”. We have found more success with having project leads such as person ABC is in charge of our end-effector and person XYZ is in charge of summer camps. We try to get project leads as we feel that it gives them the best chance of showing teamwork, collaboration and leadership. For college application reasons depending on the commitment of their work we (coaches and mentors) will allow the use of terms like captain or team lead.


We’ve adjusted our structure quite a bit in recent years and found less is more.

These are the main groups:

  • Business & Media
  • Electrical
  • Software
  • Mechanics & Design

Prior to COVID we operated with more sub-groups and every group had official Leads. I think we had between 15+ positions at one point. This left the team split out and we didn’t have a Work together in all areas mentality. Starting in 2022 we’ve focused on just these four groups and encouraged less that we had a Lead for each of these and more that we had Leaders. These are people who overtime gain enough knowledge and experience that they are recognized as the point person for an area.

Each year we bring together a Student Council of sorts that is 5-6 students who are the main students points for one of those area or seen as an influential member of the team. We view them as Co-Captains. Their role is to be a student voice in a Slack channel with the mentors. We discuss meeting schedules and other tasks we need to prioritize to get done. Just serves as a conduit for mentors to connect with a few students on the team for administrative items.

Outside of that we are very low key and really just view it as what do we need to get done. If that means the whole team sits in a conference room and fills out grant applications we do it as a team.

For context, we typically have around 15-20 students and 3-5 full-time mentors plus part-time/remote mentors.


Responses should include approximate team size. It is quite relevant. With a team of mid 30’s we had a team captain, two build leads, a software lead and a media/pr lead. It worked reasonably well. A few areas like electronics/wiring were just handled by very capable individuals.

Going forward we are going to keep the same basic structure but will be scaling back the pr side and having those students work directly with mentors. The open ended and substantially “off season” nature of media/pr/admin made this subteam less effective with the personnel we had. Going forward we might bring that position back in a year or two.

Your mileage may vary.


Our team has our guilds divided into the following:
And then business is kind of a mix of all the non -robot centric parts, such as fundraising, sponsors, and recently a lot more media.
Hope this helps!
editing to include team size, we have on average around mid 20’s for people on the robot centric side, and this year we had about 7-8 in business


Our team (~50 people) is split into subteams similar to a business. All of these subteams have a student leader (often a senior), except for Build, which has two leaders since it’s a larger subteam:

Prototypes and builds all physical mechanisms and electrical components of the robot.

Uses Fusion 360 to design the robot and communicates design changes to the technical subteams.

Writes all of the code for the robot using Java. In order to have the best robot for competition, they communicate with the build and design subteams.

Develops the teams scouting application for use at competition and keeps the team website up to date

Manages the team’s money, applies for grants, contacts sponsors, and organizes team fundraisers.

Plans and executes STEM-related events for the community, including Winter Workshop and Summer Camps.

The creative force behind each initiative. They work to maintain, promote, and put each team initiative into action.

Creates all graphic designs for the team, including T-shirts, You Go Girl posters, buttons, and Safety trading cards.

Captures and edits all team videos and photos for various projects including You Go Girl posters, the Chairman’s video, and build season updates.


We have our team divided into two main areas, technical and non-technical. The technical area is called Scuderia STEAMex, we base our processes and culture in Formula 1 teams.

Scuderia STEAMex
-MINDFACTURING: Mechanical, electrical, CAD
-Code Lab: Programming
-SIA (STEAMex’s Intelligence Agency): Scouting & Strategy


-Business Center: Administgration, fundraising, finance, media
-Changemaking Hub: Project management, documentation, outreach
-EDI: Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Special areas*
Impact committee: prepare the impact award
STEAMates: a special area that works during competition, similar to Citrus Service
Engineering Quality and Control this “area” just works as part of our culture
The same goes for safety

P.S. There is already another thread with a very similar topic


Team size: 80 students
Upper Management(founders and mentors)
Team Captain

Robotics Captain->Mechanics Lead->Mechanics Team|CAD Lead->Design Team|Electronics Team

Pr Captain->Social Media|Social Themes (womans rights, helping communities etc.)|Climate Team| Technological Team(creating new websites/games etc. with software team)

  • Team 254 Handbook.
    Leadership structure of student roles and subteams described on last 3 pages.

  • Handbook needs to updated to reflect switch from VEX to FTC but otherwise is still relevant.

  • Team size: 60 FRC, 40 FTC


EDIT: Team size: 18-20ish, 3 elected leadership, 6 component heads incl. electronics and software (w/ some overlap with the leadership team)

we elect a captain (typically rising junior or senior), vice captain (typically rising sophomore or rising junior, can not be a rising senior), and head of business (formerly treasurer, open to rising sophomores and above) at the end of every season around late April/early may.

Subteam leads (we call them component heads for some reason) are appointed right after kickoff by the leadership team, but we’re considering making them earlier so they have time to prepare.

Anyone that’s not a subteam lead is either machining, software, or business. We only have 1 software and business lead, but multiple component heads for robot design, so all the machinists kind of work under all the component heads, and any component head can call on any machinist to work if they’re available.

Drive team is decided at competition for stuff like technician, but safety, driver, operator, and coach are decided a bit beforehand. typically we have tryouts for that

On to responsibilities:
Captain -keep the whole team functioning and on track, work closely with mentors and component heads to make sure everything is getting done administratively and on the robot. keep team morale good and moderate a good atmosphere. also write emails to team members

Vice Captain - learn from the captain. help resolve component head disputes. work with the captain to alleviate load from them when it gets busy.

Head of Business - this role is in a time of change as it goes from just treasurer to business. The scope has widened to be larger in build season than it was previously, as it used to be just get sponsorships in the fall and manage the bill of materials and the money supply during build. Now, the head of business does all that and will most likely manage merch ordering and possibly some website stuff. We also technically have an art/branding person who does the design for our buttons and shirts n stuff but they’re not really under a team.

Component heads - This role is the only appointed role on the team. As component head, you design the component (with help from other component heads probably) and delegate work to machinists. In prototype, you work with some people (who you work with is decided by leadership to make it so its not just a bunch of friends working together and then everyone else. its an even distribution) and make a lot of prototype components, before voting on a final design. once that’s done, you delegate to machinists and tell the software team so they can work on programming it. For electronics, you skip the prototype phase and just start working with the other component heads on where to put the electronics components and battery. Once that is done, you work with treasurer to source components and assemble and wire. Electronics and drivetrain are probably the most stressful over competition. For software, you also skip the prototype phase and work straight on the competition bot. typically we have spare chassis to work with so you can practice programming and work closely with the drive team to test things. also working with component heads to place limelight and other sensors.

lmk if you need any more explanation, I don’t want this to be any longer than it is already LMAO

we might be adding a machining head this year to better delegate and keep track of machining, and a CAM head to handle our CAM and CNC needs


Thank you guys.
Our team has around 50 students.
How do you overcome mess and unorganized work in the workshop or during the design period? Do you have some kind of manufacturer coordinator (some kind of Production Planning & Control) , head of machines, CAD integrators etc…
I feel that they are a lot more of roles and responsibilities to do than “just” captains and head of teams

In terms of the Build subteam, we split it into three “specialty” groups. We have the manufacturing, assemblies, and electrical groups within the subteam. Each has its own leader(s) which are often upperclassmen that have more experience on the team. Pre-season is spent learning your role prior to build season, whether it’s working on the mill or learning the electrical systems of the robot. For the design subteam, we are assigned subsystems to manage for the build season. Design works closely with build with the manufacturing process to ensure parts are being manufactured correctly and with the highest standard. Additionally, a design member is always present in the assembly process to ensure their system is being built correctly. There’s always going to be some chaos with build season as the team works to finish before deadlines, however, implementing a strong organization system along with pre-season practice helps tremendously. Additionally, having a list of priorities from kickoff really helps with the design process, which will lead to better organization and less chaos during prototyping. (Hope that somewhat answers your question!)

We have around 24 kids moving into this next season, with around 6 mentors and 2 coaches.

After our season wraps we typically elect our two captains in may. We elect an EMO (engineering and mechanical operations) and NEMO (non-engineering or mechanical operations) captain. Captains apply for their position, and if the application is satisfactory, they will enter the election pool. All team members can vote, including outgoing seniors. If mentors then approve the winning candidate, they become a captain. Captains then pick subteam leaders from the pool of applicants. We have 5 EMO subteams, and NEMO as one with multiple leads.

Our EMO teams:

  • electronics
  • mechanical
  • programming
  • CAD
  • design

Design and CAD are very distinct, with CAD creating models and sketches for components that are requested by design. Design is in charge of selecting a robot design, doing all prototyping, and making decisions on what mechanisms to use, etc. Only FRC (and occasionally FTC) veterans are allowed to be on design

CAD and programming both have a practice subgroup for rookies that meets on different days to help them get caught up without bogging down progress. To graduate to the regular subteam, they need to pass their level one and two badge.

Annoyingly the FIRST badges website is down right now, but here is a link to the electronics level one badge just to give the unfamiliar an idea of what they are like:

NEMO has distinct leaders for Finance, Graphic Design, Social Media/website, Outreach, and Awards.

We also have distinct “one man band” type leaders who don’t necessarily have other people on their subteam, but still have areas of responsibility. These include:

  • safety captain
  • classroom manager
  • workshop manager
  • rules lawyer (master of the game manual)
  • photographer
  • note taker

The classroom and workshop managers are in charge of keeping the spaces organized, and keeping inventories of team supplies updated.

We finally also assign a veteran to each rookie to teach them about how the team operates, and to answer any questions they may have.

Our entire leadership team meets regularly to discuss how the team is doing. Leadership council also updates our team handbook every year, which I would share but we are still working on it…

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A lot of roles for 24 kids!

Partially because the system was designed back when our team had ~45 kids… but I also think that people are more invested in the team when they have a clear set of responsibilities.

tspaladin. That second part is sure true. But tell me, does the team run better or worse with 24 students vs twice as many. I could see either answer being true…

An excellent question that, in my mind, depends on two things:

What you mean by the team “running better” - if you mean robot performance, 24 kids is 100% worse. Our team tries to operate on the principal that mentors don’t build anything that ends up on a finished robot, so the fewer kids you have, the more a few individuals will try to shoulder the burden, and get burnt out. From the perspective of growing soft skills and learning to manage responsibility, a lean team is great! Over my 6 years in first, I have seen some of my teammates go from silent standbyers, to active leaders that can manage large projects effectively. In the end, there is a balance. Everyone should have opportunity and responsibilities, but not too many that they (and the team) suffer. From talking with our head coach of 13 years FRC experience, he estimates the ideal team size to be around 32 kids.

The other factor to consider is what your leadership team looks like. We had a 5 year streak of worlds attendance that ended in 2020, and was entirely owed to a healthy leadership council that we had built up over years. When you have seniors running the team that started FIRST in 4th grade, and would rather spend a night in the shop than at prom, you will see a lot of success. We went from 45 kids to 18 in 2020, but we were already on a downswing because we lost a few key leaders to graduation in 2018, and had no one to follow them.

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A thoughtful reply. You are operating on a World Class basis. We are not, although we are up and coming. We also have finite money and middlin’ cooperation from our school.
Bane of our existence has been idle students, so for instance taking 27 to our first event was way more work for us than the 13 we took to the second one. Parallels exist in build spaces too. You need a lot of available mentors and useful work to train in a new cohort of a dozen every year.
I’d also ask what the learning per capita and learning total looks like with each size.
Independently we have also decided that 32 would be an ideal team size. Alas, we start the year with 29 so we’ll have to drift up a little higher. Leadership does develop over time. Or sometimes diminishes. People have complicated lives outside robotworld.
Appreciate the insights.

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